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Suicide bombers kill at least 25 in Iraq, some attacks claimed by Islamic State

By Andrew V. Pestano
Suicide bombers kill at least 25 in Iraq, some attacks claimed by Islamic State
Kurdish Peshmerga forces, shown here in 2014, near Mosul, Iraq, recently said they are willing to help the Iraqi army launch an offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city with a population of about 2 million. On Monday, U.S.-led coalition airstrikes destroyed the Turkish Consulate in Mosul which was occupied by the Islamic State. Many city residents have fled amid the mounting offensive to retake the city from IS control. File Photo by Mohammed al Jumaily/UPI | License Photo

MAKHMUR , Iraq, April 4 (UPI) -- As many as 10 suicide bombers killed at least 25 people Monday in Iraq in attacks on Iraqi security forces and Shia Muslim militias.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for some of the bombings.

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At least 14 people died when a man detonated himself at a restaurant.

Other bombings occurred in Baghdad, Mashada and Basra.

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The attacks come as the Iraqi government continues to take back territory from IS, including a mission to recapture Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.

The Iraqi army on Sunday said it made progress in an offensive to recapture the western city of Hit, which is about 85 miles from Baghdad.

Meanwhile, the Turkish foreign ministry on Monday announced U.S.-led coalition airstrikes destroyed the Turkish Consulate in Mosul.

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Turkey gave its approval for the airstrikes that destroyed the compound. Iraqi officials say they will retake Mosul within a year.

The Iraqi army, Kurdish Peshmerga forces and a Shiite-dominated paramilitary force have recently mounted efforts to seize Mosul by retaking surrounding towns. Many troops have set up base in the Makhmur area.

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Since U.S. coalition started airstrikes against IS targets in August 2014, nearly 7,500 have been conducted in Iraq and nearly 3,700 have been launched in Syria. IS -- also identified as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL -- in June 2014 seized control of Mosul, which has a population of about 2 million.

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As the offensive to retake Mosul escalates, many people have fled the city -- traveling some 60 miles to reach Makhmur. At least 2,000 people have fled in recent days.

"There is no medicine, no proper hospitals. They are forcing people to pay for treatment. There are so many restrictions. If you smoke you'll be flogged. If you cut your beard you'll be flogged. We are besieged. Women must wear the full face veil and be covered form head to toe," a man who escaped from Mosul told BBC News' Nafiseh Kouhnavard. "There are no schools either. There is no future in Mosul at all. We had two choices: a 10 percent chance to live if we escape, or a 100 percent chance we would die if we stay. The 10 percent chance was worth the risk. I was dead there anyway."

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The destruction of the Turkish Consulate came two days after the U.S. Department of Defense released footage it says shows coalition airstrikes targeting IS headquarters at the university in Mosul on March 19.

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